Chris and I have very different perspectives on exercise and fitness. Check out our previous post for details about our differences. We both value incorporating movement into our days, but we have different ways of going about it. I am more likely to have a schedule and go for a run or go to the gym a few days per week. Chris is more likely to not have a plan of action, and fits movement into his day in the moment he thinks to do it. We’ll address both methods of getting your body moving. There’s no right or wrong way, and we always encourage you to do what works for YOU! So, whether you’re a terrified beginner with little to no exercise experience, you hate exercise, or you’re trying to get back into a routine, there are tips that will work for you and help you to incorporate movement into your day. Remember that any amount of movement is better than nothing!
Check out my post about rebooting your New Years Resolutions for tips on building habits and routines to achieve your goals. Whether you’re making changes to your diet, batch cooking, meal prepping, exercising, or another goal, I would love to hear what you’re up to! Tag me on social media @plantfitmeg and use the hashtags #accountableapril and #rebootyourresolution so I can keep up with your journey. I’m sharing posts and videos about batch cooking, what I eat in a day, and exercise.
Choose activities you know you enjoy
Move your body in ways that you enjoy. If you enjoy the exercise or don’t even think of it as exercise, you’re more likely to do it! Don’t get it into your head that you need to do a specific type of exercise in order to be fit and healthy.
If you hate fitness, choose the form of exercise that you hate the least
If you are someone who hates exercise, consider what you may be able to do for a short burst to get your body moving. Find an activity or form of movement that is tolerable and manageable. Maybe it’s blasting your favourite song and dancing in your kitchen. Maybe it’s doing a 5-10 minute yoga video on YouTube. Maybe it’s going for a walk.
Walking is great for you and is highly underrated. Go for a walk outside and enjoy nature. If you find walking dull, walk to a destination rather than just going for a walk.
Listen to music, podcast, or audiobook while exercising or go with family or friends (pending Covid restrictions in your area)
Whether you’re walking or doing another form of exercise, listening to music can be motivating and make it much more enjoyable! Listening to you favourite podcast or an audiobook can also make the time go by faster.
Incorporate movement into your daily life
- Walk, run, or cycle to work, for errands, appointments when possible
- Set reminders on your phone to move your body – doesn’t have to be long period – stretch, walk, plank, etc.
- Park vehicle further away from the entrance
- Get off the bus or whichever form of transportation a stop or two early
- Take stairs rather than elevator or escalator
- Build on the wins – once you get used to one or two of these add on
Start small, begin slowly
- Put on your favourite song and dance or jump around
- Move your body if there are ads or between episodes of whatever show your watching
- On your way back from a bathroom break, do knee lifts or drop and do a few pushups or a plank
- Do a plank competition with your partner or kids
- Make a plan that is manageable and works with your schedule and your life (ex. run after work twice per week, or take a group fitness class online 3 days per week)
Any exercise is better than no exercise
Every little bit of movement counts! Over time, the little ways you increase movement in your day really add up. Often once you start moving your body, you’ll want to keep moving. If not, that’s ok too, give yourself a pat on the back and you can build on it as you go.
Schedule it in
If you’re choosing an activity like running or going for walks, it is very easy to say” I don’t have time to exercise” with our busy and chaotic lives. It certainly can be difficult to schedule in, but start small. If you don’t have a lot of time, commit to 5-10 minutes per day to start. Or choose one way to incorporate more movement into your day and build on it over time. (ex. walk to work twice a week, or go for a walk after work)
If you think to move your body, do it right away in the moment
I leave our calisthenics bars out after I use them, and more often then not, Chris will hop onto them and do a few exercises. It’s a great visual reminder and an easy way to jump into doing a bit of exercise without thinking or planning it out in advance.
Trick yourself into it
Think about future you
Present you may want to stay in bed for another 30 minutes or watch a Netflix show. Consider what future you will think if you choose to stay in bed versus if you choose to go for a run. I know that future me will be happy if I go for a run and might be disappointed in myself if I stay in bed. This isn’t to say that I never make the choice to stay in bed, that is a valid option too.
Chris plays a game where he hides his keys which sets himself up to have to pause and think about where the keys are and why they are not in the usual spot. This reminds him to choose the active alternative. He does not default to using the car, instead he has tricked himself into remembering to walk, skateboard, or cycle to get where he needs to go.
Put on workout gear
I tell myself that I don’t have to go for a run, but I put on my leggings, tank top, and lace up my sneakers. Once I have all of my gear on and I’m ready to go, I can choose whether I want to run or not. I don’t recall a time that I didn’t end up going for a run! I’m far less likely to skip my run when I’m already geared up and ready to go. At that point, it’s easy for me to get out the door!
Find a way to move your body that works for you. Consistency takes time to build. Regular efforts and actions to do activities you enjoy or move your body in some way will add up to building exercise into your life and becoming a consistently active person. Remember that small efforts add up over time, and often build on each other over time as you seek to move your body more often.
Take rest days
Everyone needs rest days! If you’re running or lifting weights or doing another exercise routine, it’s important to take days off to rest and recover. Take those days to cross-train and go for a walk or do some gentle yoga. Be kind to yourself! Don’t push yourself to the point of pain or injury. Take extra rest days when injured, ill, haven’t slept well the night before, or when you just need a break!
Re-evaluate as you go
Life happens. Sometime illness, injury, or other events in your life will take priority and keep you from being consistent. If you’re having a hard time being consistent consider why that is. Reconsider which activity you’ve chosen, your schedule, the time commitment involved and how you can make changes to work for your current situation. (ex. run for 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes, or switch to walking instead of running)
Have fun / play!
Make activities fun and enjoyable. Do fun activities that you did as a kid or that you always wanted to try, but never had the opportunity to do. Chris loves to skateboard and cycle just like he did when he was a kid. I love to dance and do handstands, and we both love playing and running around with our son.
Try something new
Chris is teaching Ryerden and I how to skateboard. Skateboarding is not something that I’m comfortable doing or familiar with at all. I have no experience with it and am not good at it. I’m being safe, taking it slow, and having a lot of fun learning! Try any new activity you want – yoga, dance, swimming, skating, sports, or any other activity that appeals to you.
Chris wants to try frisbee golf! He’s unable to do so right now because of Covid restrictions in our area, but I’m sure he will give it a try when he’s able to!
Have fun and do what works for you! We hope you found this post helpful and encouraging!
Let us know how you feel about exercise, and what your favourite activities are. Remember to leave a comment here or tag me @plantfitmeg on social media for #accountableapril.